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This style guide is borrowed from the James Cook University Library. They have made it publicly available through Creative Commons license.
AMA Style is a variation of the Vancouver system that is used by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and other publications by the AMA. We are currently following the 11th edition of the AMA style guide.
AMA is a documentary-note style, which means you put a number in your text to cite sources of information and the reference list is in numerical order.
In text citations are in superscript1 and in order of citation (the first citation is 1 the next is 2). If you use the same source again, you keep the same number (the source you used for the first citation is always 1, even if you use it again after 6).
The following guidelines are based on the minimum requirements for AMA citations. AMA style requires this core information for each citation (additional details can be added where appropriate – see the relevant pages in the full JCU AMA guide).
Pay close attention to punctuation use in the examples – including case, italics, the order of dates and spaces.
Standard article pattern (print):
Author AA, Author BB. Title of article. Journal Abbreviation. Year;volume(issue):pp-pp.
Standard article pattern (electronic):
Author AA, Author BB. Title of article. Journal Abbreviation. Year;volume(issue):pp-pp. Accessed Month DD, YYYY. DOI or URL
Cochrane Reviews are supposed to be cited as electronic journal articles. Articles are given article numbers instead of page numbers. Place the article number (without "Art no") in the place of the page numbers for a normal journal article. There is no volume number for Cochrane reviews, so skip straight from the year to the issue number. Always use the doi instead of a URL for Cochrane reviews:
When mentioned in the text, only surnames of authors are used. For a 2-author reference, list both surnames; for references with more than 2 authors or authors and a group, include the first author’s surname followed by “et al”.
The numbers in text are in superscript1 and occur at the end of the clause in which you used the information. They occur outside “quotation marks,”2 commas,3 (parentheses)4 and full stops.5 However, they occur inside semicolons6; and colons7:
Do not leave a space between the last letter or punctuation mark and the number.
Re-use numbers for the same citation
Citations should be numbered sequentially – that is, the first source you cite is 1, the second source is 2 and so on.
However, once you have given a source a number, it will keep that number throughout your paper. So, if you use your first source again, no matter how often you use it, it is still 1.
Citing more than one work at a time
Use commas to show that more than one work is being cited, and use hyphens for several works that would be numbered sequentially:
These side effects can have implications for the patient's mental health, as numerous studies have shown.1,3,6-9
Relationship between in-text citations and reference list
Your reference list follows the order of the numbers used in the text. The first source you cite in the text is 1 and the reader will look for number 1 in the reference list to find the full citation; the fifth source you use is 5 and the full citation is listed at number 5 in the reference list (and so on).
Avoid placing a superscript reference citation immediately after a number or an abbreviated unit of measure to avoid any confusion between the superscript reference citation and an exponent.
Avoid: The 2 largest studies to date included 262 and 183 patients.
Better: The 2 largest studies to date included 26 patients2 and 18 patients.3
In the medical sciences, you should only use a direct quote if the exact wording is important. You should be paraphrasing the information as much as possible. When paraphrasing, it is not standard practice to use page numbers, but they can be used if you feel it is necessary for clarification.
However, if you do need to refer to the exact wording used by the authors, you must put the quote in "quotation marks" and use a page number next to the in-text citation.
You put the page number in brackets directly after the reference number, with no space: 1(p6). This all goes in superscript.
Rey's support of the Mad Dog theory is equivocal, and he states "I’m not defending Mad-doggery because I believe it."3(p125)